The Composition

compositionLast Thursday, grade 5 students spent the day in Middle school and during library orientation, Mr Loste read them the captivating story, The Composition written by Antonio Skármeta and illustrated by Alfonso Ruano. The main character in this story, Pedro, is faced with an ethical dilemma when he is asked to write an essay for a government official representing the military dictatorship of his country. This brilliant book is well deserving of the many literary prizes it has been awarded and illustrates many of the IB attitudes.

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Chopsticks

chopsticksWe read another clever book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal this week in ELC library classes. She wrote Duck! Rabbit! and many other books we have in the ELC library. Chopsticks tells of two close friends who found that sometimes being apart made each of them stronger. This book illustrates the PYP attitudes of independence and confidence very well. We also learned a little about word play from this witty book.

We then had fun making puppets using wooden chopsticks using our own pictures and some Mr Men pictures from here.

Learning about Dr. Jane Goodall

the watcherThis past week Grade 1-5 library classes have learned about the life of Dr. Jane Goodall. The Watcher by Jeanette Winter is a very simplified version of Dr Goodall’s life, but gave us much to discuss about what distinguishes humans from animals, animal intelligence and emotion, and the importance of preserving natural habitat for wild animals.

We learned about her famous chimp greeting by watching this video:

And some classes learned a bit more about her work from this 60 minutes documentary:

16 years in 16 seconds!

sammyThis past week, Grade 4 & 5 have read another fascinating biography, this time about diving legend Dr Sammy Lee. Sixteen years in sixteen seconds by Paula Yoo and Dom Lee tells how Dr Lee grew up in California, at a time when non-white people could only use the public swimming pool one day a week. But Sammy Lee, son of Korean immigrants, wanted to become a Olympic diver, so he had to practice in a sand pit in his coach’s back yard!

Despite discrimination and unbelievable challenges he fulfilled his dream of becoming an Olympic champion and he also became a medical doctor. You can watch a documentary about his life here:

Flight: the journey of Charles Lindbergh

flightBeginning on Wednesday this week, all grade 3-5 classes have read Flight: the journey of Charles Lindbergh by Robert Burleigh. Classes on Monday and Tuesday next week will also share this amazing biography of courage and determination.

It was good to learn about what made Charles Lindbergh so famous, but also to imagine how difficult it was for him to achieve his dream of being the first to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic. We imagined what it was like to try to stay awake for that long, and to not even be able to stand up, or go to the bathroom! Some classes also researched what happened to Charles Lindbergh after his flight across the Atlantic.

The cat who walked across France

catThis week Grade 1-3 have read the realistic fiction book The Cat Who Walked Across France by French author and illustrator, Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben. This very descriptive book fit in well with the Grade 2 unit about homes and the Grade 3 unit about exploration and journeys. However, it seemed so realistic that we began to feel that perhaps it might have been based on a true story!

We had fun learning some of the countries of Europe, including France, using this interactive map from Shepphard Software.